When it was first suggested to me that I review Paul Fussell’s new book about “class,” I naturally assumed that it was because I have so much of it. But a twenty-minute sojourn with Class: A Guide Through the American Status System[1] was enough to convince me that I have no class whatever. Save your pity, though. According to Mr. Fussell I do not require it. Mr. Fussell discerns the existence of a new class, a set of people who defy categorization, and he makes it quite clear that this is the only class for anyone to aspire to because it is the only one with “class” at all.

Relax. If you are reading this review, then chances are that you, too, are an “X” person, or can easily become one. How do I know? Because Mr. Fussell has invented this “way...


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